The modern business environment allows even small businesses to function at a global level. More than just being able to sell products and services to a global audience, it’s also about the people that make up the business and the stakeholders the business entertains. As we live in a multicultural and diverse population, we are working full of people from all religions, races, languages, and genders. Moreover, today business owners and customers are in the market for high-quality services and products. The focus for businesses is on getting the best people they can for the job, regardless of age, religion, sexual orientation, and race. On the other hand, customers are looking to purchase goods and services of the highest quality at the lowest possible rate. Moreover, customers are also a lot more concerned today about how environmentally friendly a business is, how balanced its workforce is, and how well it treats its employees. Investing in a diverse workforce and creating an inclusive environment can have a range of benefits for a business beyond just profitability.
These terms are often used interchangeably, but their implications are very different.
Diversity refers to variations in the workforce, referring to gender, religion, race, and sexual orientation. However, more than just physical attributes, cognitive and behavioral traits are also part of a diverse workforce and are used as differentiating factors among team members. Things such as the personal life experiences of employees go a long way in influencing how they see things, how they solve problems, and how they perform as part of the business.
However, this is not to say that diversity is equal across all industries and roles. While there has been a shift towards a more global workforce, there are still several areas that are dominated by a specific gender or a certain kind of employee.
The Workforce Today
Unless the role requires a particular person, anyone and everyone with the right skill set can apply for the position. For this reason, we have a workforce today that is far more diverse than what it used to be just a few short decades ago. There are many benefits to these modern work teams, but they also come with their own challenges. With the workforce across the world getting more intertwined through things such as remote working and freelancing, we are seeing a more diverse range of teams coming together all over the world.
This refers to the extent to which the work, presence, input, and opinions of various employees influence and affect the output of the business. Since inclusion is a relatively subjective term, it can be hard to quantify and evaluate, but generally, people who feel more included in their teams also feel like their work has a direct relation to the business they are working in and feel that their efforts are directly impacting the business.
The level of inclusion that a business generates for its team members affects the business and has a significant impact on employee behavior. While inclusive can be a very physical process, the softer, intangible traits of inclusion influence how employees feel about their work and the employer they work for. This is very prominent in high-risk teams such as teams in the army that work together in war, medical teams that work in emergency situations, and highly technical fields of work where teams rely on individual competencies to get a job done.
Are Diversity And Inclusion Necessary
Some may argue that these concepts are irrelevant and managers should be more goal-oriented. However, it can’t be denied that studies have shown that higher levels of inclusion and diversity benefit both the employees and the business. Developing more diversity and building more inclusion for the workforce can help the business achieve its profitability, scalability, and innovation goals. It allows the workforce to benefit from the unique attributes of each employee and gives the organization access to more resources.
If a business has a diverse workforce and managers are aware of the unique abilities of each team member, they can get a lot more done with the human resource they have. On the other hand, suppose the workers also feel included and are inclined to cooperate with the business in things beyond their job description. In that case, it can be beneficial for both the employee and the business. Rather than hiring externally, the business can make the most of the people they already have. Still, it generally directly relates while employees will feel more engaged and will enjoy being part of a team.
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